InsideOLITA

Offical blog of the Ontario Library and Information Technology Association

OLITA Appetizer: Google Drive and Google Apps Script: Part One

As someone who collaborates with other people across the city and across the province, I am a big fan of Google Drive’s ability to co-write and share documents.

Google Drive is the new name of what was once called Google Docs. I’m still getting used to the name-change which happened last year. I still don’t like the name but I think I now understand why they made the change.

Google is trying to get across to us two things: Google Drive is like Dropbox : a place where you can store and access your files from wherever you are and whatever device you are using. And, Drive is also a verb: you can use Google Drive to, errr, drive functionality to and from other applications.

How? Well, that’s what this short OLITA Appetizer series is going to be all about!

After we get the introductions out of the way, our next post will be dedicated to showing how easy it is for you to embed graphs, tables and charts from a Google Spreadsheet into a website and in doing so, create a dynamic “dashboard” of statistics. And, as an additional bonus, you can find out how easy it is to earn yourself 3 Stars from Tim-Berners Lee, inventor of the Internet.

The next post after that will be dedicated to doing the same but with this time with an addition of Google Apps Script. I don’t want to get ahead of myself, but as this post is about introductions and disambiguations, it’s as good as time as any to you let you know that Google Apps Script is very different from Google Apps.

Google Apps is a set of Google run-applications such Gmail, Google Calendar that are branded for a particular business or educational institution.

Google Apps Script, on the other hand is “a JavaScript cloud scripting language that provides easy ways to automate tasks across Google products and third party services”.

It seems to me that not many people know about Google Apps Script, which is too bad, because from my brief experiences with it, I believe that it has the potential to do a lot of amazing things. And I think Google Drive and Google Apps Script is especially relevant for libraries because you don’t need access to a web server (read “ask permission from your IT department” ;) ) in order to make available dynamic and responsive services and content for others

See you next week!

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Category: Appetizers

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